Why your ability to problem solve is currently at 0%

Do you have any friends who talk about their problems constantly? Or maybe they have a particularly juicy problem that has almost become part of their identity. They talk about it, tell stories about it, meet up in groups with other people who have it, and sometimes even introduce themselves with it: "Hi, I'm so-and-so, and this is my problem."

BY Jay Geier

Do you have any friends who talk about their problems constantly? Or maybe they have a particularly juicy problem that has almost become part of their identity. They talk about it, tell stories about it, meet up in groups with other people who have it, and sometimes even introduce themselves with it: "Hi, I'm so-and-so, and this is my problem."

If they are a particularly skilled problem cultivator, I'm sure they've also perfected the oldest trick in the book - the one surefire way to reduce the possibility of solving their problem to zero.

In fact, you've probably done this too. Every single person in the world has done this. Just blame it on something else. Voila! Your chances of solving your problem are now nonexistent.

What if I told you there's a strategy proven to make your problems get smaller until they disappear? Do you want to hear it?

Convert the problem into a question. Instead of focusing all your energy on the problem and elaborately describing it to everyone you know, ask yourself a question that will lead to a solution. The human brain is such a cool resource. As soon as you ask yourself a question, you open the door to possibilities that hadn't even occurred to you.

Most doctors and team leaders make the huge mistake of focusing their meetings around the problem rather than the solution. Of all the meetings I've observed in offices around the world, most of them follow this model: 90% of their time is spent discussing the problem, and 10% of their time is spent discussing the solution. Your meeting model should be the exact opposite. Rather than getting the group hyped up and focused on the irritant, you should redirect everyone's attention to the question.

For example, a few years ago, I was stuck in traffic on the way home from the Training Center in Atlanta, and I was wondering how on earth I was going to sit in this kind of traffic a few days a week without losing my mind. I was not moving an inch. That's when I saw a helicopter high above the Interstate, free from the depressing mess of traffic below.

Suddenly, the wheels were spinning, and my brain cranked out the first question. What do I need to do to get a helicopter? I researched it, Googled it, excitedly shared it with my wife, and she shot it down like she was holding a machine gun. Too expensive. Not practical. OK, so on to round two - could I rent a helicopter? Turns out, I could!

The bottom line is this. Every second you spend developing your problem without asking yourself a question is another second wasted. Instead of saying, "I can't afford it," ask yourself, "How can I afford it?" Do you see how much more productive that is?

The truth is, the great determiner of your future tends to be your history. So if you have a problem and you carry it around with you your whole life, you are significantly limiting what you can accomplish in your future. You are, in every way, keeping yourself from your full success potential.

What's worse is that you are probably blaming your problem on someone or something else, which means your chances of solving it are currently 0%!

As the leader of your practice, you have a ton of people looking to you for guidance. They are following your example, and if you're constantly blaming your problems on others, they are probably doing the same thing. Starting today, you need to promise to take responsibility for all of your problems. They are your problems, and your brain holds the key to the solutions.

I even go so far as to take responsibility for the problems of the people who work for me, and honestly, I think that you should too. I'm dead serious about this. When your team sees you taking responsibility for problems, even those that aren't just yours, everyone dives in to get a piece of the action.

It's pretty hilarious; I'll tell my team something is my fault, and they instantly compete to take part of the blame. But that's how it should be! The more open you are to taking ownership of your office problems, the higher your potential for solving those problems.

Take it from me. Converting your problems into questions will become a habit. Like any good habit, it will take self-discipline and a whole lot of practice. If you have a problem in your practice and you would like to discuss your question or find out how to turn it into a plan of action, call 844-242-1992 now. Or check us out online at www.SchedulingInstitute.com.


Jay Geier is the president and founder of the four-time Townie Choice award-winning Scheduling Institute. With over 16 years of experience and over 2,900 clients, Jay Geier's Scheduling Institute has redefined the industry standard for excellence and remains the largest and most successful dental training company in the world.

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